Careful driving will create safer roads

Lisa Goudy
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I don’t understand why so many drivers insist on tailing the car in front of them, no matter how poor the conditions are.

Granted, there are lots of drivers out there who are excellent drivers and follow the rules. I only wish there were more. It’s more than just safety for you and for others on the road. It’s also about courtesy to other drivers.

It’s an incredibly unnerving feeling to be going the speed limit in the city and suddenly find a car so close to you it looks like there will be a collision. Then you exhale with relief when the car whizzes by you in the passing lane.

It’s equally, if not worse, when cars stop so close to the rear bumper of the car in front of them at a stop sign or a red light. There is nowhere for the car in front of you to go if you can’t stop or aren’t paying attention. It would be so easy for you to rear-end the car in front of you, even more so if it’s icy.

I know these feelings far too well and it’s safe to say I’m by far not the only one. Think about how many accidents could be avoided if drivers were more careful. Too many accidents we hear about are because someone didn’t leave enough driving distance and was unable to stop on time. Too many of those accidents are because people are driving too fast for conditions. Too many of those accidents could be avoided.

Drivers were taught in driver’s education to keep at least three seconds of space between vehicles and add a few more seconds onto that in poor conditions such as poor visibility, ice or snow.

It seems to me that either many people have forgotten that rule or have chosen to ignore it. It is creating an unsafe environment on the roads. Even the most careful of drivers could be in an accident because of the reckless driving of someone else.

It’s not that hard to keep a safe travelling distance. If you’re the type of person that has road rage issues, you need to calm down or get off the road. Road rage doesn’t do any good for anyone.

It’s important to remember traffic lights, stop signs, yield signs and pedestrian signs are there for a reason. It would be so much better if everyone actually obeyed them instead of ignoring them and endangering others. I don’t just mean other drivers. I also mean pedestrians.

When I’m in the middle of the crosswalk crossing a road at a traffic light that says walk, I shouldn’t have to be nearly hit by a car at the adjacent stoplight. Yes, pedestrians need to remember to look both ways before crossing the street — even if the light says walk, just in case.

But it goes two ways. Drivers need to pay attention to their surroundings as well. Having a licence doesn’t mean you should drive around recklessly and not be attentive.

You should make sure to keep the proper following distance and drive carefully. You never know when the worst could happen. Doing something that simple while driving on the road will go a long way to making our roads a safer place for other drivers and pedestrians.

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